25 Man Rotface Strategy Overview and Raid Setup

25 Man Rotface Strategy Overview and Raid Setup
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Rotface Overview

Rotface is a single phase fight, and one of the easiest in the back end of Icecrown Citadel. Unlike his brother Festergut, Rotface does not have a hard enrage timer. However, this does not mean that Rotface isn’t ultimately as much of a dps race. He has a soft enrage in the form of slimes that spawn at an increasing rate, which will ultimately overwhelm the raid if the encounter lasts for too long. As a rule of thumb, five minutes can be considered the “enrage” for Rotface, though that time can vary depending upon the raid and its ability to properly manage slimes.

This strategy guide will focus mostly on the Rotface 25 man regular mode encounter, though it is applicable to the 10 man encounter as well. Any differences between the two raid sizes will be noted. The focus here will be strategy; for more detailed information such as damage done by Rotface’s spells, please refer to WoWwiki.

Raid Setup and Placement

Tanks: Only one tank is actually required for the 25 man encounter, but unless there is an extremely seasoned kiter to deal with the slimes, a second tank is best for that. Some raids have had success juggling the ever increasing rate of slime spawning by having a third tank to help with kiting as well, but this is not a method I recommend. 10 man will also have the same tanking requirements.

Healers: Minimum of five, up to six or seven depending upon ability and gearing. Since this fight does have definite dps race elements, it is better to keep the number of healers as minimal as possible.

DPS: There is no set, necessary mix for dps in this fight. For regular mode, everyone stands at melee range, except for hunters since they have a minimum range they need to be at. This fight can be a little harder on hunters for that reason, but that should not prevent you from bringing any.

Rotface raid positioning

For nearly the entire fight, anyone who is not the kiter/slime tank or infected/being targeted by a small slime will be clustered tightly behind the boss in melee range. Rotface has a fairly large hit box, and it is best for people to be clustered inside of his hit box rather than at its edges. Half of the raid should be positioned behind Rotface’s left leg, the other half behind his right leg. Divide the raid up in advance and make certain that everyone knows where they are expected to stand.

Slime Strategy Basics

Stable ooze/slime

Note: Technically, the slimes are actually “oozes.” I have also never heard anyone call them that.

What makes or breaks the Rotface encounter is the strategy for slimes. At regular but gradually decreasing intervals, a random raid member will be targeted by Rotface and hit with a Mutated Infection. This debuff/dot lasts for 12 seconds, causes a significant amount of damage, and also reduces all healing received by 50%. Because of this, the sooner it is cleansed (Mutated Infection is a disease), the better. When Mutated Infection is cleansed or runs its 12 second course, the target expels a small slime, which immediately begins to melee him or her. Small slimes cannot be taunted, and have such a ludicrous amount of life that trying to kill them would be foolish.

When two small slimes are brought together, they combine to form a larger slime. This larger slime can be taunted and has a normal aggro table. It also has a damaging aura with a 10 yard range, and melees for a significant amount of damage that increases with each small slime it absorbs. After the large slime absorbs five small slimes, it explodes and the process starts all over again.

If you take a look at the diagram I provided in the setup for the fight, you’ll notice the kiting path for the tank is somewhat closer than some other guides recommend. As long as the raid is clustered sufficiently tightly around Rotface, that kiting path will still put the large slime more than 10 yards away from the raid (except for any hunters, who may have to move to get away from the large slime) and will also keep the kiting tank out of the floods of slime that cover portions of the floor at times.

The kiting tank can bring out a non-combat pet and mark it with a raid symbol; this can make it easier for some people to track his or her location.

At its most basic, the strategy for dealing with each slime is:

  1. Combine two little slimes to get a larger one.

  2. Tank taunts the larger slime and kites it.

  3. Each person with a Mutated Infection runs out to the kiting tank’s path and merges his or her small slime with the larger slime, then returns to the raid.

  4. Rinse and repeat.

For the 10 man encounter: No differences.

And of course, it’s also not nearly that simple.

To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

This is bad. Very, very bad.

Early in the fight, Mutated Infection can be cleansed immediately as long as the player still moves out of melee to meet up with the kiting tank without delay. Later in the fight, as the casting rate for Mutated Infection increases, there can often be two people with the disease almost simultaneously, and cleansing both before they’ve had the chance to move out of melee and away from each other will result in a large slime forming in melee. Unless your kiting tank is extremely alert and has a taunt free for the resulting large slime, that can cause a wipe. (If you want to read about the unmitigated disaster pictured on the right, head over to Righteous Defense.)

As the soft “enrage” approaches, the accidental forming of a second large slime becomes increasingly likely. Multiple people will have infections and two or even three may have small slimes attacking them at the same time. The best way to deal with that ultimately becomes for those with Mutated Infection to move out of the raid toward the edge to the kiting path, being cleansed there, and then waiting patiently for the kiting tank to come to them and pick up the small slime.

However, until the point is reached that multiple infections are being cast within seconds of each other, the simplest way to deal with the Mutated Infection is to give the infectee three seconds or so to move out of the raid, then cleanse them. The infectee can then intercept the kiting tank’s path by running ahead of him and deliver the small slime to be merged.

So who should cleanse? Because of the utility of cleansing the Mutated Infection before it runs its 12 second course, a paladin tends to make a very good kiting tank – and also because of the abilities a paladin has that can be used at range to prevent large slime melee hits. However, a healer can also work with the kiting tank to make certain that the Mutated Infection is cleansed at an appropriate time. Death Knights are even better kiting tanks than paladins; while they require someone else to cleanse the Mutated Infection, they have a wide array of abilities that they can use to maintain threat and still move.

Slime Problems and Slime Bugs (Both Sound Gross)

Merging the slimes can be challenging. Technically what triggers the two to merge is a single tick of the large slime’s damaging aura, which happens every two seconds. Basically, the small slime needs to be taken within 10 yards of the large slime and then held there for at least two seconds.

Unfortunately, because of lag and other issues, this process sometimes doesn’t work as well as it would in an ideal world. Some raid members may need to actually run a lap around the large slime, just to give the small slime time to “take.” Whatever the method, someone with a small slime should never return to the raid until they’re certain that their slime has merged in properly.

There are certain things that raid members can do that will cause the slimes to bug. This is bad, because it will cause the small slimes to bug or begin randomly attacking other raid members while still being untauntable. Any kind of aggro wipe ability (feign death, ice block, invisibility, etc) and mirror images will cause small slimes to drop aggro and begin running through the raid. At that point, whoever gains aggro on the small slime can try dragging it out of the raid, but the small slime will often drop aggro on them and pick someone else at random. Also, someone dying while being infected/targeted by a small slime will also cause an “orphaned” slime to go try to make friends in the raid. Blink and the warlock teleport can also cause the small slimes to bug.

Multiple Slimes

Sometimes mistakes happen, and you end up with two large slimes. This is particularly bad if the new large slime forms on top of the melee group, which is also the most likely event. (Or if the large slime forms outside of melee, it will make a beeline for the group since that’s where the tasty, tasty healer aggro is.) This can cause a wipe, but if your raid members are aware and act quickly, you can salvage the situation. The kiting tank can either taunt the slime and get it to merge with the large slime he or she already has, or if you have a capable temporary offtank (such as a feral druid) they can taunt the slime and drag it out of the group. If the healers are able to deal with the sudden spike in raid damage from the large slime’s ticking aura, you may be able to pull it off.

Slime Explosions (Yuck)

This slime will explode once it absorbs one more small slime.

After the large slime has merged with five smaller ones, it explodes. Rotface shouts, “I think I made an angry poopoo,” which gets a gold star as a warning that death is imminent. The explosion has a cast timer for the slime; when the cast finishes, the slime explodes into a lot of smaller chunks of slime, which hit for a very significant amount of damage. A single hit isn’t normally enough to kill someone that’s at 100% health, but I wouldn’t recommend tempting fate on that account. The chunks of slime target like the Shadow Crash from General Vezax; that is to say, they target the place where a person is standing, rather than the actual person. That means that if raid members move out of the space they were standing when the cast completed, they won’t be hit by the slime.

This slime is in perfect position to begin exploding; a small one is about to merge in to it, and it’s on the opposite side of Rotface from the rest of the raid.

Moving to avoid the exploding slime requires the raid to scatter across most of the room. Most people will begin moving before the slime finishes casting; this isn’t necessarily bad, since the farther the slime chunks have to travel to hit their target area, the more time people have to move away. This also means that if the raid scatters unevenly, it’s possible that someone can run through an area someone else was targeted on, and get hit by the piece of slime meant for someone else. Learning to scatter properly is something that just may take a little practice.

Fighting Rotface

Once the strategy for dealing with the slimes is established and practiced, the rest of the fight is fairly simple. The Rotface tank pulls the boss and positions him in the center of the room. The rest of the raid immediately stacks up behind him. The first Mutated Infection occurs maybe tend seconds in to the fight; from there, the strategy for kiting the slimes is followed. Areas that can be covered by slime

There are two other things that the boss does that the raid needs to be conscious of. At regular intervals, slime will flood portions of the outer ring of the floor. This slime should be avoided by the kiting tank, and by raid members scattering for the ooze explosion; standing in it causes significant chunk of damage and also reduces movement speed. At most, half of the outer ring will be flooded at a time.

Rotface also regularly does a Slime Spray. He will target a random raid member and turn toward them, then do a cone AoE of slime in that direction. Slime Spray is not as deadly as a slime explosion, but it is damage that can easily compound and should be avoided. While the AoE of slime spray is very difficult to see, it’s very obvious when Rotface is casting it; he turns away from the tank. Rotface will also turn toward someone when he is casting Mutated Infection on them, but will then immediately turn back to the tank. If you have an addon such as DBM, you can simply watch the timers to find out which of these two things he’d going to cast.

Rotface has turned to spray the raid with slime.

The Slime Spray is the reason to break the raid into two discrete groups. If Rotface turns to face one of the groups, the players should know a Slime Spray is coming and simply either run through the boss, or strage over to where the other group is standing. As soon as Rotface turns back to the tank, the group should return to its original place.

Slime Sprays will also occur when the raid is scattered for a slime explosion; players need to be aware of this, and move out of the way if the boss turns to face them. The kiting tank will also sometimes be in the path of Slime Spray; there’s nothing that can really prevent that, and the tank will simply have to be healed through the damage.

If the raid follows the slime strategy, and avoids standing in the Slime Spray or running in to slime puddles when scattering, everyone should be able to keep themselves alive. After that, it’s simply a question of the DPS output to determine if Rotface can be downed before the slimes become unmanageable.

Bloodlust/Heroism and other long duration cooldowns do not need to be saved. In fact, it’s often best to use these cooldowns at the very start of the fight, when the infection rate is at its lowest and most of the raid will be able to simply stand and DPS. The very first Mutated Infection victim can even be cleansed and allowed to stand in the raid with a small slime attacking him or her while continuing dps, as long as they are certain to get out of the raid as soon as the next Mutated Infection comes. There is no reason in this fight to save dps cooldowns; the dps rate decreases as the fight progresses due to the increasing rater of infection and the shorter intervals between slime explosions.

Things Raid Leaders Should Look Out For

One of the most common mistakes made in the Rotface encounter is people not moving out of the Slime Spray. While Slime Spray is survivable for someone at nearly full health, it’s a drain on the healers, and can easily kill when combined with a Mutated Infection, melee from a small slime, or a tick from the large slime’s damaging aura. It is sometimes impossible to avoid the Slime Spray (the kiting tank really has no way of avoiding it) but most of the time a raid member being consistently being hit by the AoE means that they are simply not paying attention. An addon like Ensidia Fails can be used to see who is chronically being hit by Slime Spray.

Raid Leaders also need to watch out for raid members using abilities that cause small slimes to bug; this is simply not acceptable. Also, sloppy handling of the small slimes, such as not actually dropping them off before returning to the raid, is not a mistake that should be allowed more than once.

Habitual failure on the slime explosions is also something to watch for, and can be tracked with Ensidia Fails as well. This can sometimes be fixed by going over the timing of the slime explosion with the raid member to make sure they understand when they should be running and when they should be standing still in a safe place.

This post is part of the series: WoW Ice Crown Citadel Guides

From raiding the Icecrown Citidel to beating the Blood Council to taking down Lady DeathWhisper and Lord Marrowgar, take a look at these boss guides for Ice Citadel in World of Warcraft.

  1. Icecrown Citadel - Beating the Blood Council
  2. Besting the Blood Queen - Taking on Lana’thel in Icecrown Citadel
  3. Ice Crown Citadel – Lady DeathWhisper – 25 Man Strategy
  4. Ice Crown Citadel – Lord Marrowgar – 25 Man Strategy
  5. Raiding Icecrown Citadel: Rotface 25 and 10 Man Regular Mode
  6. Raiding Icecrown Citadel: Festergut in 25 and 10 Man Regular Mode